Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a condition in which there is an inadequate amount or a poor quality of tears to sufficiently lubricate the eye. Tears are important for maintaining the health of the cornea, which is in part responsible for providing clear vision. Tears are produced in several glands in and around the eyelids. Lipids (fat), aqueous, and mucin are three components that make up tears. Proper gland function is important for producing a healthy tear film layer. Dry eye syndrome often causes eye irritation.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:
Foreign Body Sensation (the feeling of dirt, sand, or gravel in the eye)
Blurred Vision that may fluctuate and clear with continuous blinking
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Age - Dry eyes affects the majority of people over 55.
Medication - Many systemic medications can cause dry eyes by reducing the amount of tears produced in the eye. Some examples are: anti-histamines, beta-blockers, and anti- inflammatory agents.
Gender - Women are more prone to have dry eyes due to hormonal changes, use of birth control, and menopause.
Environment - Activities such as reading, watching television, and computer use tend to dry eyes out. We stare during these activities, which allow the tears to evaporate. Windy or dry climates will also increase tear evaporation.
Medical Conditions - Certain medical conditions may cause dry eyes, such as Srojgen's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems.
Contact Lens - Long term contact lens wear may cause dry eye symptoms. Dry eyes may cause contact lenses to feel uncomfortable.
See the Treatments page to learn more about how Dry Eye Syndrome is treated.
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